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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Emmanuel Sanders not closing the door on 49ers, but says ‘it would be fun’ to play in Texas

Mar 20, 2020 at 7:14 AM--

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It was a sign of the times. As many isolate themselves in response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, San Francisco 49ers free-agent wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders signed virtual autographs on Thursday while interacting with fans.

Of course, with the report of mutual interest between himself and the Dallas Cowboys, Sanders was asked about his NFL future. That could still include the 49ers, who remain interested in the veteran receiver but seem content with letting him test free agency to gauge his value.

"I would love (more) than anything to have Emmanuel back, bad," head coach Kyle Shanahan said last month at the NFL Scouting Combine, "but we've got to see how that all plays out, too."

Sanders was asked at the start of the ProCamps Live event how he is doing, and the receiver responded by discussing his free-agency status.

"Just sitting around to wait to see what team I want to go to," Sanders said. "Obviously, I've got a couple of options but I'm just going to weigh my options and try to talk it over with my family and my agent, and see what's the best option.

"The hardest thing about free agency is sometimes you want it right away. But sometimes you've got to wait (and) see what happens. I'm trying not to rush the process because I know what I want out of a team. I know what I want in terms of my goals and everything, so I'm trying to find the best fit."

While Sanders regrets falling just short of his second championship, he acknowledged how special his half a season (and postseason) was with the 49ers. It definitely sounded like Sanders would be interested in returning.

Earlier this month, Sanders revealed that San Francisco had not yet initiated contract discussions with him. It is unknown if that has changed since then.

Sanders was asked where the 2019 49ers rank among his favorite teams.

"I still say that's, if not my favorite team to play on, definitely in the top two," Sanders said. "That team and the Super Bowl 50 team I played in with the Broncos in 2015."

Added Sanders: "I love Kyle (Shanahan). To be around his energy and his realness, it's the reason why we went all the way to the Super Bowl. A lot of it had to do with him and John Lynch."

As for the possibility of playing for the Cowboys, Sanders didn't deny the reports of mutual interest.

"I don't know. We'll see," Sanders told a fan and his mother who lives in Texas. "We'll see. It might be something there. We'll see."

Another young fan asked if Sanders is ready to move to Texas.

"I don't know," Sanders responded. "We're going to have to see, man. We're going to have to see. I'm excited about the whole process. We'll see how everything plays out. I haven't made a decision on anything yet but we'll see, man. I think it would be fun to play in Texas, to be around family and everything."

That doesn't mean Sanders is closing the door on San Francisco. He enjoyed his time on the team and the energy from the young receivers, particularly Kendrick Bourne.

"I enjoyed being around them," Sanders added. "Hopefully, we can run it back, but we'll see."

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